70 Comments

How could anyone look at him prior to his death and write that he was OK

This goes beyond criminal negligence - they executed this man.

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While this man deserves our sympathies, respecting him and those similarly situated requires DOING SOMETHING. This article should be a call to action. What actions should we take? Lobby for state constitutional amendments in all 50 states? Lobby for a more humane distribution of state and federal budget resources? Lobby for police training? Lobby to make careers in relevant counseling and medical professions more accessible financially, their being a nation wide shortage of both therapists and psychiatrists now? What's the priority for saving our brothers and sisters like Larry Price, Jr.? How do we connect with those already advocating for the needed changes in our states or on the federal level?

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I was sitting in a lecture on education when the professor used the phrase "pipeline to prison". Curiosity got the better of me when my brain drew a diagonal line from low education standards to high numbers of people in prison. So I went looking for information. Then HB 1070 was passed and private prisons made bank, due to a coordinated effort by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and the private prison lobbyists she seated on her cabinet. Channel 5 in Phoenix exposed this story. I'm not sure where it went from there.

When president 45 visited Florence, Az, on the campaign trail, I wondered why he didn't go to Phoenix, the capital of AZ and site of state government. Took me a minute to figure that he was taking corporate prison donations and found likely followers in a community of prison workers.

When I consider all those that financially benefit from the building to the facilitation, the elements create quite a net. A lot of money is being made and there is little to no commitment to rehabilitation, no benefit for the prisoner, who is the reason this is all supposed to happen in the first place.

check this out: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/private-prison-stock-hits-two-year-high-as-analysts-cite-potential-for-more-detention-beds-detention-alternatives-11669754438?mod=mw_quote_news

At Pima County jail, inmates are dying at an insane rate https://azluminaria.org/2022/11/28/how-pima-county-jail-deaths-are-part-of-a-grim-pattern/

I appreciate Judd Legum for writing on behalf of the pain and suffering of those that have no voice in our society. Thank you for bringing up difficult issues with integrity. You inspire and hopefully set people to action.

We can't just write and complain. We must act, even if it takes time, we must help. It helps to see how the system is connected and to what it is connected. Unravel the thread. Ask questions. Stay curious.

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Horrific and not surprising. I REALLY hope this is one of your pieces that gets picked up by the bigger outlets. It needs to be told again and again.

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What a horrifically sad story. My heart breaks for this man and others like him.

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A charge of terrorism? Imagine the number of individuals who knew about this and did nothing. What could be strong enough motivation for adults presumably without limited IQs to create this entire situation and let it unravel fatally? No, people working at the police station couldn’t solve Mr. Price’s actual problems, but they could have transferred him to a facility where he was off their hands. Did they even try to send him to a hospital?

What is the racial breakdown of the Ft. Smith PD?

While it’s true that we’re living in a mainstream news menu that offers limited choices each day, this story could get traction because there’s a federal suit already filed.

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More terrorism from the proponents of prison for the mentally ill.

Just what we do not need. Prison staff coordinated their efforts to torture and ultimately kill this man.

What human being in the world deserves this treatment?

Why ,the mentally ill of course.

They’ve committed the most grievous crime of being unable to advocate for themselves.

Well, of course thats not all of their crimes.

In this case the man was black and poor and mentally ill.

Three major crimes in addition to the greatest crime of all.

Staff cohesion in refusing to care at all. I submit we’ve created a system of inequality, that might as well condemn the poor to death .

Look at the growing homeless population.

These people usually have history of mental

Illness, substance abuse and poverty.

A death sentence in this country.

And how do we deal with this?

With hate. We treat these people as an extreme inconvenience at best and our enemies at worst.

I witnessed this system , firsthand for many years.

My eldest child , my only son suffered from Schizophrenia.

He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 25 .

He had some things in his favor.

He was white.

He lived in NY state

And his family was able to advocate for him .

He died after 27 years of societal torture. He was shaken down for money , he had his food card stolen .

He was arrested several times.

At least two of those times he was beaten by frustrated cops that didn’t

know or care that he was mentally ill.

In spite of family advocacy.

He was homeless at intervals throughout his adult life.

But fortunately NYS has some good treatment for the mentally ill.

Because we were able to advocate we could get him out of jail and to treatment.

He died last March, with complications of Crohn’s disease.

Because he,

for whatever reason was unable to get himself to the doctor.

In time. He was in ICU with two surgeries and the aftermath . He was unconscious for some of that time .

They’d wanted to do a third surgery .

We, as his spokespersons, decided not to allow a third surgery as they didn’t believe he’d necessarily survive it .

He never regained consciousness, a decision was being made by family for comfort care.

We were called back to his room and he drew his last breaths.

His torture was over .

Advocate for education re: Mental illness and best practice.

We really need to be sure people start to understand and care for the misery of this illness.

Unlike the horrific treatment of solitary confinement for the innocent , but poor , mentally ill and black souls.

He was not alone.

To suffer alone is the true tragedy.

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I visited the website of Forth Smith Policed Department and under FSPD rules and regulations, Section 600 deals with Protection of Prisoners, Their Rights and Their Property.

Bullet 602 defines "protect[ing] the rights of any person held in custody ..."

Bullet 603 covers "false arrest, imprison[ment] ..."

Bullet 604 states "Officers shall not willfully mistreat or give inhumane treatment to any person held in custody or show conscious disregard for the obvious medical need of any prisoner in his or her custody.

It appears to me, a layman, that some "inconsistencies" have occurred with respect to Mr. Price's situation while incarcerated and FSPD's rules and regulations.

A Federal violation of civil rights investigation would certainly seem in order, IMO.

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We have so many systemic issues in this country. It is overwhelming to think about it, let alone address it.

Police are not trained to deal with the severely mentally ill, nor should they be. They need to be able to recognize the signs but in highly dangerous situations, adrenaline runs high and it is easy to be back seat drivers on how to react. We do know that when trying to immobilize anyone, you do not put a knee on someones neck for minutes on end.

We will continue to see more mental crisis as more people fight to keep up with living expenses while we over-spend on military, and refuse to tax the uber-wealthy. We need to get to the root of injustice.

We need guaranteed basics, living wages, health care (including mental health care).

We live in a society that is out of control with guns, but we refuse to address the weapons themselves. I think the police forces have too many MAGA-racist types in it, too much corruption etc. But think about the fact that your job might mean having a gun in your face at any time.

I prefer we join the rest of the world and delete our damn gun-love. We have a constitution, we have letters from the founders. We know they would never approve of the rt wing misleading, misinterpretation of the intent of the 2nd Amendment.

And once again, it comes down to allowing incompetents and criminals to remain in SCOTUS and in our Congress. Why won’t the DOJ and our Congress follow our laws to remove criminals? What is the point of our existing laws when they’re never applied to the most dangerous criminals..Trump et al?

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I worked on my own (with the help of good hearted people) the Homeless here for 11 years. About half have mental illness alone most combined with drug use. And plenty of drug use. Less than 10% hard luck put them there.

Reagan had a mass release of folks from institutions during his Adm. Much of what you see today is a result. Institutions were by no means wonderful. One problem was solved by another.

Lack of mental health care is a huge part. Used to be families bore the brunt of long term care for adults with mental health and special needs. Unfortunately I have seen this decline in my lifetime.

Some stares are trying to legislate more mental health care.

What happened to Mr. Price is a huge indication of bail reform. And moreover, heart reform, by those who dealt with him from the Police to the judge to the doctor and everyone else who lied about his care to those who treated him worse than a rabid animal. Wondering out loud how many Sunday Christians are in the lot of them. Arkansas is another state I would not live in. Sarah Huckabee Sanders elected Arkansas Governor is just another indication of where lying, cheating and being an associate of Trump can get you. And Mr. Price an example of being African American, mentally ill with an IQ indicating he had special needs, and he was impoverished and alone was denied Humane treatment in Arkansas.

May those who treated him so horrifically get their just desserts.

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Heartbreaking report and vital reminder of what our society is up against in any quest to achieve universal and impartial justice. Thank you, Judd.

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founding

Thank you for writong a detailed and memorable piece on Larry Price. For a few years, I've been wanting to scream to the world, DO NOT CALL THE POLICE IF YOU OR THE ONE YOU ARE CALLING ABOUT HAS ANY DEGREE OF MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, OR PHYSICAL DISORDER. IT IS GUARANTEED TO LAND IN THEIR DEATH. Call a religious pastor, priest, or rabbi; call a YMCA; call an elected official--anyone but law enforcement!

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The cruelty is the point.

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Liberty and Justice for all?

What is it about our culture that such cruelty and apathy becomes shrugable.

American exceptionalism, blah, blah, blah.

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Can’t wait to hear what Gov. SHS has to say about this.

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The Police Benevolent Association should be sued, let the police have to pay, not taxpayers. Ditto the correctional officers union, if there is one. When the damages come out of their pockets, they might clean up their act. And every single LEO associated with this needs to be fired and their pensions revoked.

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